Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 30 April – Saint Pius V and Saint Paul VI

Thought for the Day – 30 April – Tuesday of the Second week of Easter and the Memorial of St Pope Pius V OP (1504-1572), The Pope of Lepanto

This is the pope whose job it was to implement the historic Council of Trent.   If we think popes had difficulties in implementing Vatican Council II, Pius V had even greater problems after Trent four centuries earlier.

During his papacy (1566-1572), Pius V was faced with the almost overwhelming responsibility of getting a shattered and scattered Church back on its feet.   The family of God had been shaken by corruption, by the Reformation, by the constant threat of Turkish invasion and by the bloody bickering of the young nation-states.   In 1545, a previous pope convened the Council of Trent in an attempt to deal with all these pressing problems.   Off and on over 18 years, the Fathers of the Church discussed, condemned, affirmed and decided upon a course of action.   The Council closed in 1563.

Pius V was elected in 1566 and charged with the task of implementing the sweeping reforms called for by the Council.   He ordered the founding of seminaries for the proper training of priests.   He published a new missal, a new breviary, a new catechism and established the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes for the young.   Pius zealously enforced legislation against abuses in the Church.   He patiently served the sick and the poor by building hospitals, providing food for the hungry and giving money customarily used for the papal banquets to poor Roman converts.   His decision to keep wearing his Dominican habit led to the custom–to this day–of the pope wearing a white cassock.   And ALL THIS in 6 years of his papacy!

In striving to reform both Church and state, Pius encountered vehement opposition from England’s Queen Elizabeth and the Roman Emperor Maximilian II.   Problems in France and in the Netherlands also hindered Pius’s hopes for a Europe united against the Turks. Only at the last minute was he able to organise a fleet which won a decisive victory in the Gulf of Lepanto, off Greece, on 7 October 1571.

Pius’s ceaseless papal quest for a renewal of the Church was grounded in his personal life as a Dominican friar.   He spent long hours with his God in prayer, fasted rigorously, deprived himself of many customary papal luxuries and faithfully observed the spirit of the Dominican Rule that he had professed.

In their personal lives and in their actions as popes, Saint Pius V and Saint Paul VI both led the family of God in the process of interiorising and implementing the new birth called for, by the Spirit in major Councils.   With zeal and patience, Pius and Paul pursued the changes urged by the Council Fathers.   Like Pius and Paul, we too are called to constant change of heart and life.   Amen, Alleluia!

St Pope Pius V, Pray for us!st pope pius v pray for us 30 april 2019 no 3.jpg

St Pope Paul VI, Pray for us!st pope paul vi pray for us 30 april 2019

Posted in POETRY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – Lepanto – 30 April – St Pope Pius V

Quote of the Day – Lepanto – 30 April – Tuesday of the Second week of Easter and the Memorial of St Pope Pius V OP (1504-1572), The Pope of Lepanto

BY G K CHESTERTON (1874-1936)lepanto - by g k chesterton - maxresdefault.jpg

White founts falling in the courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run.
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard,
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips,
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross,
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass.
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass.
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.

Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young,
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold,
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world,
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain—hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea.

Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri’s knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunset and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees,
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.

They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scor,
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be,
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl,
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,—
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, “Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done,
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces—four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not ‘Kismet’; it is he that knows not Fate,
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey in the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth.”
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still—hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.

St Michael’s on his mountain in the sea-roads of the north
(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift
And the sea folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone,
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships.

King Philip’s in his closet with the Fleece about his neck
(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.)
The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin,
And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon,
He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon,
And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey
Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day,
And death is in the phial, and the end of noble work,
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John’s hunting, and his hounds have bayed—
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid
Gun upon gun, ha! ha!
Gun upon gun, hurrah!
Don John of Austria
Has loosed the cannonade.

The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man’s house where God sits all the year,
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery.
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plumèd lions on the galleys of St Mark
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on
Before the high Kings’ horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell,
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign—
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate’s sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.
Vivat Hispania!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!

Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight forever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile and settles back the blade….
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)

St Pope Pius V, Pray for Us!st pope pius v pray for us 30 april 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 30 April – My heart has become Your manger

One Minute Reflection – 30 April – Tuesday of the Second week of Easter and the Feast of Our Lady, Mother of Africa (1840) and the Memorial of St Pope Pius V OP (1504-1572), The Pope of Lepanto

“…So that everyone who believes, may have eternal life in him”…John 3:15jesus and nicodemus john 3 15 everyone who believes may have eternal life in him 30april2019.jpg

“My Lord, God,
You have led me by a long, dark path,
Rocky and hard.
Often my strength threatened to fail me.
I almost lost all hope of seeing the light.
But when my heart grew numb with deepest grief,
A clear star rose for me.
Steadfast it guided me- I followed,
At first reluctant, but more confidently later.

At last I stood at Church’s gate.
It opened. I sought admission.
From Your priest’s mouth Your blessing greets me.
Within me stars are strung like pearls.
Red blossom stars show me the path to You.
They wait for You at Holy Night.
But Your goodness
Allows them to illuminate my path to You.
They lead me on.
The secret which I had to keep in hiding
Deep in my heart,
Now I can shout it out:
I believe-I profess!
The priest accompanies me to the altar:
I bend my face-
Holy water flows over my head.

Lord, is it possible that someone who is past
Midlife can be reborn (Jn 3:4)?
You said so and for me it was fulfilled,
A long life’s burden of guilt and suffering
Fell away from me.
Erect I receive the white cloak,
Which they place round my shoulders,
Radiant image of purity!
In my hand I hold a candle.
Its flame makes known
That deep within me glows Your holy life.

My heart has become Your manger,
Awaiting You,
But not for long!
Maria, Your mother and also mine
Has given me her name.
At midnight she will place her newborn child
Into my heart.

Ah, no-one’s heart can fathom,
What You’ve in store for those who love You (1Cor 2:9).
Now You are mine and I won’t let You go.
Wherever my life’s road may lead,
You are with me.
Nothing can ever part me from Your love (Rm 8:39).”

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross [Edith Stein] OCD (1891-1942) Martyrah no-ones heart can fathom - st teresa benedicta 30 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER – True Light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, give us grace, we pray, to herald Your coming, by preparing the ways of justice and of peace.   May the intercession of Your Mother and our Mother of Africa and St Pope Pius V, assist us on our journey to You.   Who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.our lady mother of africa pray for us 30 april 2019

st pope pius V pray for us - 30 april 2019


Our Morning Offering – 30 April – Be Merciful, Be Gracious

Our Morning Offering – 30 April – Tuesday of the Second week of Easter

Be Merciful, Be Gracious
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Be merciful, be gracious, Lord, deliver me.
From the sins that are past,
From Your frown and Your ire,
From the perils of dying,
From any complying
With sin or denying
My God, or relying
On self,
at the last,
From the nethermost fire,
From all that is evil,
From the power of the devil,
Your servant deliver,
For once and forever,
By Your Birth and By Your Cross,
Rescue me from endless loss,
By Your death and burial,
Save me from a final fall,
By Your rising from the tomb,
By Your mounting up above,
By the Spirit’s gracious love,
Save me in the day of doom.

Amenbe merciful be gracious - bl john henry newman 30 april 2019.jpg


Saint of the Day – 30 April – Saint Pope Pius V (1504-1572)

Saint of the Day – 30 April – Saint Pope Pius V OP (1504-1572) – born Antonio Ghislieri (from 1518 called Michele Ghislieri, OP) 17 January 1504 at Bosco, diocese of Alessandria, Lombardy, Italy, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 8 January 1566 to his death in 1572.   He died on 1 May 1572 in Rome, Italy, apparently of a renal disorder caused by kidney stones.   He was a reformer, an apostle of prayer and charity, a great organiser, Marian devotee and apostle of the Holy Rosary, lover of the Holy Cross.  Pius V was highly ascetic.  pius v rosary.jpgHe wore a hair shirt beneath the simple habit of a Dominican friar (for which reason he is often attributed with the institution of the White cassock worn by the Holy Father) and was often seen in bare feet.  In the time of a great famine in Rome he imported corn at his own expense from Sicily and France, a considerable part of which he distributed among the poor and sold the rest to the public at a very low price.  After the papal election, instead of hosting an elaborate banquet, he ordered that the food be given to people in real need.   Tradition holds that he once restored a beggar’s severed foot.header Pius_V_Santi_Giovanni_e_Paolo_Venice_-_Pope_Pius_V_by_Bartolomeo_Letterini.jpg

He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, the Battle of Lepanto and the standardisation of the Roman rite within the Latin Church. Pius V declared Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church.

As a cardinal, Ghislieri gained a reputation for putting orthodoxy before personalities, prosecuting eight French bishops for heresy.   He also stood firm against nepotism, rebuking his predecessor Pope Pius IV to his face when he wanted to make a 13-year-old member of his family a cardinal and subsidise a nephew from the papal treasury.

By means of the papal bull of 1570, Regnans in Excelsis, Pius V excommunicated Elizabeth I of England for heresy and persecution of English Catholics during her reign. He also arranged the formation of the Holy League, an alliance of Catholic states to combat the advancement of the Ottoman Empire in Eastern Europe.  4_30_Pope St Pius V lepanto 3 bestAlthough outnumbered, the Holy League famously defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.   St Pius V attributed the victory to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory.   Biographers report that as the Battle of Lepanto ended, Pius rose and went over to a window, where he stood gazing toward the East. “…Looking at the sky, he cried out, ‘A truce to business, our great task at present is to thank God for the victory which He has just given the Christian army’.”st pius v  vision.jpg

Pope Pius V was from a poor Italian family and had entered the Dominican order at age 14.   A teacher, a master of novices, a bishop and finally a cardinal, he was a strict and honest man, as well as a zealous reformer.   He wept when he was told in 1566 that he had been elected pope.   The 18-year-long Council of Trent had ended 3 years before and he, as Holy Father, had the task of implementing it.

The previous pope had been easygoing but Pius V made immediate changes.   At first, the people complained that the atmosphere of Rome became like that of a monastery.   But soon the pope’s personal character changed their minds.   He ordered that the gifts given at his coronation be sent to hospitals and to those in need.   The Church finances were examined, the army was reduced and the lifestyles of the cardinals and bishops were simplified.   Seminaries were established, synods were held, dioceses were organised, and parish priests were called to regular meetings.   A new catechism was completed.   Parish priests were made responsible for Catholic education.   The Roman Missal became the sole Mass book for the Western Church (with a few minor exceptions) for four centuries.

His first care as Pope was to reform the Roman court and capital by the strict example of his household and the severe punishment of all offenders.   He next endeavoured to obtain from the Catholic powers the recognition of the Tridentine decrees, two of which he urgently enforced-the residence of bishops and the establishment of diocesan seminaries.

He revised the Missal and Breviary and reformed the ecclesiastical music.   Nor was he less active in protecting the Church.

We see him at the same time supporting the Catholic King of France against the Huguenot rebels, encouraging Mary Queen of Scots, in the bitterness of her captivity and excommunicating her rival the usurper Elizabeth, when the best blood of England had flowed upon the scaffold and the measure of her crimes was full.

But it was at Lepanto that the Saint’s power was most manifest, there, in October, 1571, by the holy league which he had formed but still more by his prayers to the great Mother of God, the aged Pontiff crushed the Ottoman forces and saved Christendom from the Turk.Chapel_of_Pius_V_Santi_Giovanni_e_Paolo_(Venice)_-_Pope_Pius_V_by_Bartolomeo_Letterini

St Pius was accustomed to kiss the feet of his crucifix on leaving or entering his room. One day the feet moved away from his lips.   Sorrow filled his heart and he made acts of contrition, fearing that he must have committed some secret offence but still he could not kiss the feet.   It was afterwards found that they had been poisoned by an enemy.St pius v cross.jpg

After only six years as pope, Pius V died of a painful disease, of which he had never complained.   He was buried in the chapel of St Andrea which was close to the tomb of Pope Pius III, in the Vatican. Although his will requested he be buried in Bosco, Pope Sixtus V built a monument in the chapel of SS. Sacramento in the Liberian basilica. His remains were transferred there on 9 January 1588.  The front of his tomb has a lid of gilded bronze which shows a likeness of the dead pope. Most of the time this is left open to allow the veneration of the saint’s remains.640 tomb-Roma-Santa_Maria_Maggiore01

tomb - Pius_V_head_Wiki
Portrait of Pius V by Pierre Le Gros on the tomb

In 1696, the process of Pius V’s canonisation was started through the efforts of the Master of the Order of Preachers, Antonin Cloche.   He also immediately commissioned a representative tomb from the sculptor Pierre Le Gros the Younger, to be erected in the Sistine Chapel of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.   The pope’s body was placed in it in 1698.   Pope Pius V was beatified by Pope Clement X in the year 1672 and was Canonised by Pope Clement XI (1700–21) on 22 May 1712.

Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman declared that:

 “St Pius V was stern and severe, as far as a heart burning and melted with divine love could be so … Yet such energy and vigour as his were necessary for the times.   He was a soldier of Christ in a time of insurrection and rebellion, when in a spiritual sense, martial law was proclaimed.”St_Pius_V-.jpg

st pius V lepanto 2


Feast of Our Lady, Mother of Africa and Memorials of the Saints – 30 April

Our Lady, Mother of Africa:  (Feast) North Africa, the land of Saints Monica, Augustine, among others, as part of Roman Empire began to become Christian in the 3rd century under Emperor Constantine.   It remained Christian until the Arab invasions in later centuries.   The French re-established themselves early in the 19th century.
The first bishop, Bishop Dupuch found it impossible to build a church because the local population was hostile to the French.   He went back to France for assistance. The Sodality of Our Lady in Lyon offered to the bishop a bronze statue of the Immaculate Conception with the understanding that she would be the Protectress of both the Mohammedans and the natives.   It was brought from France in 1840 and was entrusted to the Cistercian monks of Staueli. Later, Cardinal Lavigiers, founder of the White Sisters, enshrined it in the new basilica at Algiers, where in 1876 the image was crowned. This bronze statue, very dark in colour, is known as Our Lady of Africa.
Pilgrims began to come to venerate the image where the lame, the blind and the crippled were miraculously healed and sailors came also, to beg for protection of their long and perilous voyages.   At this and other North African shrines the veneration given to Mary by Mohammedans is very marked.   This feast commemorates the crowning of the Algiers statue.our lady of africa crowned.jpg

St Marie Guyart of the Incarnation OSU (1599-1672)( Optional Memorial)

St Pope Pius V (1504-1572) (Optional Memorial)
Apologies – St Pius’s video and Memorial was erroneously posted yesterday.

St Adjutor of Vernon
St Aimo of Savigny
St Amator of Córdoba
St Aphrodisius of Alexandria
St Cynwl
St Dedë Plani
St Diodoro of Aphrodisias
St Donatus of Euraea
St Erconwald of London
St Eutropius of Saintes
St Forannan
St Genistus of Limoges
St Giuse Tuân
Bl Gualfardus of Augsburg
Bl Hildegard the Empress
St Joseph Benedict Cottolengo (1786-1842)
About St Joseph Cottolengo:

St Lawrence of Novara
St Louis of Córdoba
St Mariano of Acerenza
St Maximus of Ephesus
St Mercurialis of Forlì
St Peter of Córdoba
St Pomponius of Naples
St Quirinus of Rome
St Rodopiano of Aphrodisias
St Sophia of Fermo
St Swithbert the Younger
Bl Ventura of Spello
Bl William Southerne


Thought for the Day – 29 April – I tasted and I saw

Thought for the Day – 29 April – Monday of the Second week of Easter, Year C and the Memorial of St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church

I tasted and I saw

Saint Catherine of Siena OP (1347-1380)
Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from Dialogue on Divine Providence

With a look of mercy that revealed His indescribable kindness, God the Father spoke to Catherine:

“Eternal God, eternal Trinity, You have made the blood of Christ so precious through His sharing in Your divine nature.   You are a mystery as deep as the sea, the more I search, the more I find and the more I find, the more I search for You.   But I can never be satisfied, what I receive, will ever leave me desiring more.   When You fill my soul I have an even greater hunger and I grow more famished for Your Light.   I desire above all to see You, the true Light, as You really are.

I have tasted and seen the depth of Your mystery and the beauty of Your creation with the light of my understanding.   I have clothed myself with Your likeness and have seen what I shall be.   Eternal Father, You have given me a share in Your power and the wisdom, that Christ claims as His own and Your Holy Spirit has given me, the desire to love You.   You are my Creator, eternal Trinity and I am Your creature.   You have made of me a new creation in the blood of Your Son and I know, that You are moved with love, at the beauty of Your creation, for You have enlightened me.

Eternal Trinity, Godhead, mystery deep as the sea, You could give me no greater gift than the gift of Yourself.   For You are a fire ever burning and never consumed, which itself consumes all the selfish love that fills my being.   Yes, You are a fire that takes away the coldness, illuminates the mind with its Light and causes me to know Your truth.   By this Light, reflected as it were in a mirror, I recognise that You are the highest good, one we can neither comprehend nor fathom.   And I know, that You are beauty and wisdom itself.   The food of angels, You gave Yourself to man, in the fire of Your love.

You are the garment which covers our nakedness and in our hunger, You are a satisfying food, for You are sweetness and in You there is no taste of bitterness, O triune God!  Amen”

St Catherine of Siena, Pray for Us!st-catherine-of-siena-pray-for-us-29-april-20182.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 29 April – Catherine

Quote/s of the Day – 29 April – Monday of the Second week of Easter, Year C and the Memorial of St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church

“What is it you want to change?
Your hair, your face, your body?
Why? For God is in love with all those things
and He might weep when they are gone!”what-is-it-you-want-to-change-st-catherine-of-siena-29-april-2018.jpg

“All the way to heaven IS heaven
because Jesus said,
“I am the way.”all the way to heaven IS heaven - st catherine of siena - 29 april 2019

“Speak the truth in a million voices.
It is silence that kills!”speak the truth in a million voices - st catherine of siena - 29 april 2019.jpg

“Turn over the rudder in God’s name
and sail with the wind,
heaven sends us.”

St Catherine of Siena OP (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church

More St Catherine quotes here: over the rudder - st catherine of siena 29 april 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 29 April – “A ray of sunlight shining on a smudgy window”

One Minute Reflection – 29 April – Monday of the Second week of Easter, Year C, Gospel: John 3:1–8 and the Memorial of St Peter of Verona OP (1205–1252)

“…that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”...John 3:6

REFLECTION – “We read in Saint John – No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.   To be reborn in the Holy Spirit during this life is to become most like God in purity, without any mixture of imperfection.   Accordingly, pure transformation can be effected – although not essentially – through the participation of union.

Here is an example that will provide a better understanding of this explanation.   A ray of sunlight shining on a smudgy window, is unable to illumine that window completely and transform it into its own light.   It could do this, if the window were cleaned and polished… The extent of illumination is not dependent on the ray of sunlight but on the window.   If the window is totally clean and pure, the sunlight will so transform and illumine it, that to all appearances the window will be identical with the ray of sunlight and shine just as the sun’s ray.   Although, obviously, the nature of the window is distinct from that of the sun’s ray, even if the two seem identical, we can assert, that the window is the ray or light of the sun by participation.

The soul on which the divine light of God’s being is ever shining, or better, in which it is ever dwelling by nature, is like this window.   A soul makes room for God by wiping away all the smudges and smears of creatures, by uniting its will perfectly to God’s, for to love is to labour, to divest and deprive oneself for God, of all that is not God.   When this is done, the soul will be illumined by and transformed in God.”…St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Churchjohn 3 6 that which is born of the spirit - a ray of sunlight - st john of the cross - 29 april 2019

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, grant that Your faithful people who were buried with Your Son in baptism, may by His Resurrection and intercession at Your right hand, obtain for us eternal life.   Send Your Spirit upon Your adopted children and lead us in Your way.   Grant that by the intercession of St Peter of Verona, our path may be straightened and glow with Your light.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, peter of verona pray for us 29 april 2019


Our Morning Offering – 29 April – Holy Trinity, Holy Love

Our Morning Offering – 29 April – Monday of the Second week of Easter, Year C and the Memorial of St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church

Holy Trinity, Holy Love
By St Catherine of Siena

Holy Spirit, come into my heart;
draw it to Thee by Thy power,
O my God,
and grant me charity with filial fear.
Preserve me,
O beautiful love,
from every evil thought,
warm me,
inflame me with Thy dear love
and every pain will seem light to me.
My Father,
my sweet Lord,
help me in all my actions.
Jesus, love, Jesus, love.
Amenholy trinity holy love - st catherine of siena 29 april 2019


Saint of the Day – 29 April – St Peter of Verona OP (1205–1252)

Saint of the Day – 29 April – St Peter of Verona OP (1205–1252) also known as St Peter Martyr – Priest and Friar of the Order of Preachers, a celebrated Preacher, Miracle-worker, Marian devotee.   He served as Inquisitor in Lombardy, was murdered by an assassin and was Canonised 11 months after his death, making his, the fastest Canonisation in history. Patronages – inquisitors, midwives, Castelleone di Suasa, Italy, Verona, Italy, Diocese of, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. St Peter is the the first Canonised Martyr of the Dominican PeterMartyr-400x526

In the English-speaking part of the world especially, all too little is known about this illustrious Friar Preacher.   Possibly this is in part due to the well-known bias in England against the old-time inquisition, which spread thence into the colonies founded by that country, for Saint Peter was closely connected with that institution.   Indeed, by not a few he is considered as a man without a heart.   Yet he was most compassionate.   His character was rounded out by an admirable strength of will and a mind so judiciously balanced that he neither shrank from duty, whatever the sacrifice, or even danger, it involved, nor allowed his heart to control his judgement.

Father Thomas Agni of Leontino, another noted Dominican, archbishop of Cosenza and later patriarch of Jerusalem, was the first to write a life of the blessed martyr.   His testimony should he all the more reliable because he lived for many years with Saint Peter of Verona, had been his superior and was an eye-witness of the principal events in his life.   The work shows no signs of undue predilection.   Agni’s original manuscript was for long years at Saint Mark’s Convent, Florence. Another, with some additions by Father Ambrose Taegio, was preserved in the Convent of Nostra Donna delle Grazie, Milan.

Peter was born in Verona, Italy in 1205, of parents who had embraced the heresy of Cartharism but he did attend a Catholic school.   He was educated at the University of Bologna and was accepted into the Dominican Order by Dominic himself.  st peter martyr beautiful lg

Because the Dominicans were theologically trained preachers, the popes entrusted the Inquisition to them.   In 1234, Pope Innocent IV recognised Peter’s virtues (severity of life and doctrine, talent for preaching, and zeal for the orthodox Catholic faith) and appointed him Inquisitor in Lombardy.   He spent about six months in that office and it is unclear whether he was ever involved in any trials.   His one recorded act was a declaration of clemency for those confessing heresy or sympathy to heresy.   In 1251 his jurisdiction was extended to most of northern Italy. Although he attracted huge crowds with his preaching, as an inquisitor he also made enemies.

Marvellously filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, he laboured continually for the propagation and defence of the true faith, being zealous for its promotion among the people.   To this end he established the Association of the Faith and the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   He was a fervent of promoter of community and fraternal life and served the brethren wisely as a prior.   He was also greatly solicitous for the spiritual good of the sisters, lovingly assisting them with his advice and exhortations to their spiritual benefit.

In his sermons he denounced heresy and also those Catholics who professed the Faith by words but acted contrary to it in deeds.   Crowds came to meet him and followed him, conversions were numerous, including many Cathars who returned to orthodoxy.

Because of this, a group of Milanese Cathars conspired to kill him.   They hired an assassin, one Carino of Balsamo.   Carino’s accomplice was Manfredo Clitoro of Giussano. On 6 April 1252, when Peter was returning from Como to Milan, the two assassins followed Peter to a lonely spot near Barlassina and there killed him and mortally wounded his companion, a fellow friar named Domenico.SaintPeterTheMartyr'sAssasination.JPG

Carino struck Peter’s head with an axe and then attacked Domenico.   Peter rose to his knees and recited the first article of the Symbol of the Apostles (the Apostle’s Creed). Offering his blood as a sacrifice to God, according to legend, he dipped his fingers in it and wrote on the ground: “Credo in Deum” “I believe in God”, the first words of the Apostles’ Creed.   The blow that killed him cut off the top of his head but the testimony given at the inquest into his death confirms that he began reciting the Creed when he was attacked.   Domenico was carried to Meda, where he died five days peter of verona icon

The murderer Carino, renounced heresy, became a Dominican co-operator brother and died with a reputation for sanctity.  He is the subject of a local cult as Blessed Carino of Balsamo.

Wherever he went, the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the lame and people sick with every kind of ailment were brought to him.   Ordinarily all were benefited by his prayers.  They praised God for the power of healing which He had given His Peter-of-Verona-Full-e1425844752637-400x454.jpg

Peter of Verona and with reason, was considered a learned doctor.   Yet he ever continued to store his mind with new knowledge, whether through prayer, meditation, or reading the Sacred Writings.   The example which he set his religious brethren showed them by what means they could perfect themselves in their state of life and make themselves useful to the Church.   Never did his degree of Master in Sacred Theology cause him to neglect study.   Study never prevented him from being the first at all the regular exercises.   Well did he know how to combine the practices of the cloister with the labours of the apostolic petermartyr1

In private conversation, just as in his sermons, he stimulated the faithful with his personal sentiments of love for the Blessed Virgin.   Because of his influence in their favour the Servites (they were investigated to ensure their orthodoxy) have ever regarded Peter of Verona in the light of a second founder of their order.   After his Canonisation, they placed him on the list of their holy patrons and protectors.

The Bull of Canonisation was sent at once to all bishops and ecclesiastical superiors, with an order that the feast of Peter of Verona should he celebrated every year on 29 April. This day was chosen for the celebration because that of his martyrdom, 6 April often falls in Holy Week, or within the octave of Easter.   Alexander IV and several of his successors, prescribed that the feast should he of the same obligation as that of Saint Dominic. Finally, Clement X, by a papal decree, ordered that the feast of Saint Peter Martyr should have the rank of a duplex for the whole Church.   This was in 1670 and the practice is in use today, wherever the Roman breviary is recited.

However, veneration of Peter of Verona is especially noteworthy in the Order of Friars Preacher and in that of the Servites.   It is particularly the case in Italy, the land of his birth, the field of his labours and the place of his holy death.   There many are the churches, chapels and confraternities erected in his peter martyr of verona

The body of the martyr is still preserved and venerated in a magnificent chapel of Saint Eustorgio, Milan.   Princes and noblemen of France, Germany, England and Italy (particularly the archbishops of Milan) imitated the king and queen of Cyprus with their rich gifts for the enshrinement of the saint’s relics.   At each time of their various translations (1253, 1340, 1651 and 1736) many miracles were wrought.   Suffice it to say that the Acta Sanctorum, in the third volume for April, where they treat of our martyr, give a long list of attested wonders worked by him.tomb of st peter martyr 439px-Lombardia_Milano4_tango7174.jpg

Saint Thomas of Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, was an ardent admirer of Peter of Verona.  In 1263 he visited the martyr’s sepulchre.   While at Saint Eustorgio’s Convent, the great theologian and poet wrote the following verses in eulogy of the valiant athlete of the faith, which were afterwards engraved on a marble slab and placed near his tomb, where they may still he read:

Here silent is Christ’s Herald.
Here quenched, the People’s Light.
Here lies the martyred Champion
Who fought Faith’s holy fight.
The Voice the sheep heard gladly,
The light they loved to see
He fell beneath the weapons
Of graceless Cathari.

The Saviour crowns His Soldier.
His praise the people psalm.
The Faith he kept adorns him
With martyr’s fadeless palm.

His praise new marvels utter,
New light he spreads abroad
And now the whole wide city
Knows well the path to God.

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 29 April

St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
St Catherine here:

Abbots of Cluny: A feast that recognises the great and saintly early abbots of Cluny Abbey:
• Saint Aymardus of Cluny
• Saint Berno of Cluny
• Saint Hugh of Cluny
• Saint Mayeul
• Saint Odilo of Cluny
• Saint Odo of Cluny
• Saint Peter the Venerable

St Antonius Kim Song-u
St Ava of Denain
St Daniel of Gerona
St Dichu
St Endellion of Tregony
St Fiachan of Lismore
St Hugh of Cluny
St Gundebert of Gumber
St Joseph Benedict Cottolengo
St Paulinus of Brescia
St Peter of Verona OP (1205–1252) – St Peter Martyr
Bl Robert Gruthuysen
St Senan of Wales
St Severus of Naples
St Theoger
St Torpes of Pisa
St Tychicus
St Wilfrid the Younger

Martyrs of Cirta: A group of clergy and laity martyred together in Cirta, Numidia (in modern Tunisia) in the persecutions of Valerian. They were – Agapius, Antonia, Emilian, Secundinus and Tertula, along with a woman and her twin children whose names have not come down to us.

Martyrs of Corfu: A gang of thieves who converted while in prison, brought to the faith by Saint Jason and Saint Sosipater who were had been imprisoned for evangelizing. When the gang announced their new faith, they were martyred together. They were – Euphrasius, Faustianus, Insischolus, Januarius, Mammius, Marsalius and Saturninus. They were boiled in oil and pitch in the 2nd century on the Island of Corcyra (modern Corfu, Greece.
Also known as:
• Martyrs of Corcyra
• Seven Holy Thieves
• Seven Holy Robbers
• Seven Robber Saints


Thought for the Day – 28 April – “Receive the Holy Spirit”

Thought for the Day – 28 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, Gospel: John 20:19–31

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.   As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”   And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. “...John 20:21-22

Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Bishop of Geneva and Doctor of the Church

First Sermon for Pentecost

‘He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit” ‘
Lord Jesus Christ, once again grant that of us, too, there may be but “one heart and mind” (Acts 4:32) for then there will be “a great calm” (Mk 4:39).   My dear listeners, I exhort you to good will and kindness to one another and peace with all.   For were we to have charity among ourselves, we would have both peace and the Holy Spirit.   Let us undertake to become devout and pray to God… since the apostles persevered in prayer… If we set ourselves to fervent prayer then the Holy Spirit will enter us and say:  “Peace be with you!   It is I; be not afraid” (cf. Mk 6:50)…   And what ought we to ask God for, my brethren?   For all that is for His honour and the salvation of your souls and, in a word, for the help of the Holy Spirit – “Send forth your Spirit and they will be created” (Ps 104[103]:30) – peace and tranquillity…mark 6 50 peace be with you it is i be not afraid - div mercy sun 28 april 2019.jpg

We are to ask for this peace so that the Spirit of peace may come down on us.   We should give thanks to God, too, for all His blessings if we want Him to grant us those victories that are the beginning of peace.   And to obtain the Holy Spirit we should give thanks to God the Father for having first of all sent Him upon our Head, Jesus Christ, who is our Lord and His Son… – for “from his fullness we have all received” (cf. Jn 1:16) – and for having sent Him upon His apostles that through their hands they might pass Him onto us.   We should give thanks to the Son – as God, He sends the Spirit upon those who prepare themselves to receive Him.   But, most especially, we should thank Him because, as man, He merited for us, the grace of receiving this divine Spirit…

And how has Jesus Christ merited the Holy Spirit’s coming?   When “bowing his head, he gave up his spirit” (Jn 19:30), for, when He gave breathed His last and handed over His spirit to the Father, He merited the Father’s sending His Spirit upon His mystical body.he breathed on them john 20 22 - and to obtain the holy spirit - st francis de sales div mercy sun 28 april 2019.jpg


Quote of the Day – 28 April – How great, is the goodness of God..”

Quote of the Day – 28 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday

“Oh, how great, is the goodness of God,
greater than we can understand.
There are moments
and there are mysteries,
of the Divine Mercy
over which, the heavens are astounded.
Let our judgement of souls cease,
for God’s mercy upon them, is extraordinary.”

St Mary Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938)oh-how-great-is-the-goodness-of-god-st-faustina-5-october-2018.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 28 April – “Peace be with you.”

One Minute Reflection – 28 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, Gospel: John 20:19–31

“Peace be with you.   As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”   And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.   If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”…John 20:21–23john 20 21 - peace be with you - div mercy sun 28 april 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “This Sunday, … concludes the week or, more properly, the “Octave” of Easter, which the liturgy considers as a single day: “the day which the Lord has made” (Ps 117[116]: 24).  It is not a chronological but a spiritual time, which God opened in the sequence of days when He raised Christ from the dead.  The Creator Spirit, infusing new and eternal life in the buried body of Jesus of Nazareth, carried to completion the work of creation, giving origin to a “firstfruits” – the firstfruits of a new humanity, which at the same time is a firstfruits of a new world and a new era.

This world renewal can be summed up in a single phrase, the same one that the Risen Jesus spoke to his disciples as a greeting and even more, as an announcement of his victory: “Peace be with you!” (Lk 24: 36; Jn 20: 19, 21, 26).

Peace is the gift that Christ left his friends (see Jn 14: 27) as a blessing destined for all men and women and all peoples.   It is not a peace according to a “worldly” mentality, as an equilibrium of forces but a new reality, fruit of God’s Love, of His Mercy.   It is the peace that Jesus Christ earned, by the price of His Blood and communicates to those who trust in Him.

“Jesus, I trust in you” these words summarise the faith of the Christian, which is faith in the omnipotence of God’s merciful Love.”…Pope Benedict XVI – REGINA CÆLI – Second Sunday of Easter, 15 April 2007jesus i trust in you - pope benedict 28 april 3019 div mercy sun.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty Father, grant we pray that with Mary’s help, Mater Misericordiae, Mother of Jesus who is the incarnation of Divine Mercy, that we become renewed in the Spirit, in order to cooperate in the work of peace which You are accomplishing in the world and which is not just talk, but which is actualised in the countless gestures of charity by all his sons and daughters.   Grant we pray, that we taste the beauty of the encounter with the Risen Lord and draw from the source of His merciful love, to be apostles of His peace.   Through Christ, Redeemer and Merciful Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.mater misericordiae mother of merct pray for us 8 april 2019.jpg


Sunday Reflection – 28 April – O Sacrament Most Holy

Sunday Reflection – 28 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday

Fr Benedict Groeschel CFR (1933-2014)

O Lord Jesus Christ, how am I to prepare myself to attend that holy sacrifice, which You began at Your Last Supper and which You consummated on Calvary?

That eternal Eucharist begun in sorrow and agony continues, not simply to the end of the world but throughout all eternity.   It is, the eternal act of obedience and love that You, as the head of our whole human race, offered to the Trinity, even to Yourself, in Your divinity.   These mysteries are completely beyond me.   Yet I know, they are true because You revealed them.

Soon, in the person of a priest, a poor human being, Your divine words will be spoken and each of us, at this Mass, will be lifted beyond this place and be part of the heavenly choirs and the eternal divine liturgy.   How dare we think that we, creatures of earth, could participate in such a thing!   We believe it, because this liturgy began here on earth.   From the very first moment of Your existence, as a human being, the altar was prepared, the linens were laid on the altar.   Throughout Your earthly life, You laboured in the preaching of the Gospel and in calling the faithful to prayer. Then, at the supreme moment of Your earthly existence, You offered Yourself in total obedience and sacrifice to the Father, for all the world.   Your glorious Resurrection and Ascension, point beyond the Cross and beyond the tomb and remind us that this Eucharist, is not only a memorial but an everlasting participation in Your divine and heavenly worship, as priest of the new covenant.

O Lord, give me Your Holy Spirit, that my heart may be lifted up in this Mass, that I may be in one of the choirs that join with You, that I may take my place prayerfully and in reverent attention, with the billions of saints, with the great choirs of angels, with the army of holy souls on their pilgrimage and with all the devout and struggling Christians in the world.   Let this Mass be the beginning of a new moment in my life, one step closer to You.   May I be encouraged by this sacred meal, to know that You will go with me in the wilderness of life, that You will sustain me so that I may, in fact, not only pray as one of those united to You but, that I may live and act, so that it may indeed be true, that I live, no longer I but You, who live in me. Amen, alleluia!

O Sacrament most holy
O Sacrament divine,
All praise and all thanks giving,
Be very moment Thine.+

Jesus, I love You with all my heart. I wish to love You more every day.   Thank You for being with me in this most Holy Sacrament.let this mass be the beginning of anew moment - fr benedict groeschel 28 april 2019.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 28 April – Divine Mercy

Our Morning Offering – 28 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday

In the Jubilee Year 2000, St Pope John Paul II proclaimed that from that year forward, the Second Sunday of Easter, where we remember the institution of the Sacrament of Penance, would be celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday.   This was proclaimed at the Canonisation Mass of St Faustina Kawalska, who worked throughout her life to make all aware of the merciful love of God.   For this is the God who leans in and waits with bated breath for us to whisper through the screen, “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.”

St Faustina (1905–1938) was born and raised in Poland.   Following a vocation to religious life, she was accepted by the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy.   As a member of the Congregation, she worked as a cook, gardener and porter.   In her mystical spiritual life, her contemplation on the Mercy of God led her to develop a childlike trust in God and deep love for her neighbour.

In her years in the convent, St Faustina heard a call from God to make God’s mercy known to the world so that the world may more fully receive God’s healing grace.   St Faustina promoted the Chaplet of Divine Mercy which consists of the recitation of prayers to the Eternal Father with the use of the rosary for the sake of Christ’s sorrowful passion.

Divine Mercy 3 O’Clock Prayer
St Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938)

You expired, O Jesus,
but the source of life
gushed forth for souls
and an ocean of mercy
opened up for the whole world.
O Fount of Life,
unfathomable Divine Mercy,
envelop the whole world
and empty Yourself out upon us.
O Blood and Water,
which gushed forth
from the Heart of Jesus
as a fount of mercy for us,
I trust in You.
Amendivine mercy 3 oclock prayer div mercy sunday 28 april 2019.jpg

Posted in MYSTICS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 28 April – Blessed Itala Mela ObSB (1904–1957)

Saint of the Day – 28 April – Blessed Itala Mela ObSB (1904–1957) – Laywoman, Mystic, Benedictine Oblate, Theological Writer.

Blessed Itala was an Italian Roman Catholic who was a lapsed Christian until a conversion of faith in the 1920s and as a Benedictine oblate assumed the name of “Maria della Trinità”.   She became one of the well-known mystics of the Church during her life and indeed following her death.   She also penned a range of theological writings that focused on the Trinity, such an integral element of the Christian faith.header - bl itala mela.JPG

Itala Mela was born on 28 August 1904 in La Spezia to Pasquino Mela and Luigia Bianchini, both were atheist teachers.   She spent her childhood in the care of her maternal grandparents from 1905 to 1915, as her parents worked and her grandparents prepared Mela for her First Communion and Confirmation – she made on 9 May 1915 and 27 May 1915 respectively.

The death of her brother Enrico at the age of nine (27 February 1920) challenged Mela’s perception of her Christian faith and she wrote of her feelings to the loss:  “After his death, nothing”.   As a result, she eschewed her Christian faith and slipped into atheism. However, at the age of 18 she had a profound spiritual experience whichresulted in the reawakening of her faith, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (8 Dec. 1922).   After rediscovering God, her faith deepened with the motto she took being:  “Lord, I shall follow You unto the darkness, unto death”.bl Itala_Mela

Bl Itala became a member of FUCI (Federation of Catholic Students) in 1923, where she met future pope Giovanni Battista Montini (St Paul VI) and Bl Cardinal Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster OSB (1880-1954) at the meetings there.   She also met the priests Divo Barsotti and Agostino Gemelli OFM.    At such meetings, Monsignor Montini and both the politicians Aldo Moro and Giulio Andreotti, both of the Christian Democracy Party served as major influences upon her.

She passed her studies in 1922 with recognition of being a brilliant student and was enrolled at the University of Genoa on the following 11 November, where she later received a degree in letters in 1928 as well as in classical studies.

Bl Itala experienced her first vision of God on 3 August 1928 as a beam of light at the tabernacle, in a church of a seminary at Pontremoli.   She wrote afterwards, “The will of Christ, which I feel in the depths of my soul, is to drag me, to immerse myself with Himself in the abysses of the Holy Trinity … It is useless to look for other ways, this is what He has chosen for my sanctification.”   Feeling called to the religious life, she tried to enter a Benedictine convent but health did not allow her to remain.   Instead she became a Benedictine Oblate and consecrated herself to the Holy Trinity.

She departed for Milan at this time and chose as her confessor Adriano Bernareggi., who later became the Archbishop of Bergamo.

Her true calling as a Benedictine oblate came in 1929 and solidified to the point, where she commenced her novitiate.   It concluded on 4 January 1933 when she made her profession in Rome in the church of San Paolo fuori le Mura making her four vows.   As a sign of her new life, Mela assumed the name of “Maria della Trinità – Maria of the Trinity”.    She composed many profound spiritual writings and continued to have spiritual visions and ecstasies.    She even proposed a special memorial to Mary of the Trinity to Pope Pius XII, which he approved in 1941. bl itala mela sml

In Genoa from 5–15 October 1946, Mela composed a series of spiritual exercises for the benefit of the faithful, the exercises were well received.

Bl Itala died on 29 April 1957 aged 52.   Her remains were later transferred to the La Spezia Cathedral in 1983.

She was proclaimed Venerable on 12 June 2014 after Pope Francis approved her life of heroic virtue.   On 14 December 2015 the pope also approved a miracle attributed to her intercession which allowed for her Beatification to take place.   Bl Itala was beatified in La Spezia on 10 June 2017 and Cardinal Angelo Amato presided over the celebration on the pope’s behalf.    The miracle in question concerned the revival of an Italian newborn, whose body was in state of clinical brain death.

Pope Francis said on Sunday, 11 June 2017, the day after her Beatification:

Dear brothers and sisters, yesterday in La Spezia, Itala Mela was Beatified.

She was raised in a family far removed from the faith, in her youth she professed to be an atheist but converted after an intense spiritual experience.    She worked among Catholic university students, she then became a Benedictine Oblate and followed a mystic path centred on the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, which we celebrate today in a special way.   May the witness of the new Blessed encourage us, during our days, to turn our thought often to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who abides in the chamber of our heart.

bl itala mela

The Spiritual Experience of Itala Mela, a Life Incandescently Immersed in the Trinity

This present translation in English is the most recent development of an ongoing study regarding Itala Mela and the profound mysteries that our Lord revealed to her regarding the Inhabitation of the Most Blessed Trinity.  This is a most telling narrative describing the work of God in each individual soul for the fulfilment of the destiny of mankind.   A work achieved by co-operation to grace and acceptance of the circumstances of life with an eye to advancing the Kingdom within oneself and the world around us.

Itala is an example of an ordinary life of an ordinary person and how God takes this ordinariness and makes it extraordinary.   Yes, sanctity is for everyone, if only we see to understand and act in love.   The journey begins today with a light for each step of our path.spiritual exp of bl itala mela.jpg


Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday *2019 & Memorials of the Saints – 28 April

Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday *2019

St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716) (Optional Memorial)
St Louis’s story:

St Peter Chanel SM (1803-1841) Martyred aged 37 (Optional Memorial)

St Adalbero of Augsburg
St Agapio of Cirtha
St Artemius of Sens
Bl Itala Mela ObSB (1904–1957)
St Benedict of the Bridge
St Cronan of Roscrea
St Cyril of Turov
Bl Gerard of Bourgogne
St Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1962)

Bl Józef Cebula
Bl Luchesius
St Pamphilus of Sulmona
St Prudentius of Tarazona

St Alexander
St Aphrodisius of Beziers
St Berthold
St Buonadonna
Carino Peter of Balsamo
St Firmiano
St Germaine
St Guido Spada
St Luchtighern of Ennistymon
St Marie Louise Trichet Jesus
St Mark of Galilee
St Peter of Bearn
St Primianus
St Probe
St Tellurium


Thought for the Day – 27 April – By following Him, we can see Him!

Thought for the Day – 27 April – Saturday of Easter week

He is not here, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him (Mk 16:6)

“There is another important aspect (in the Resurrection), Jesus show Himself in the act of departure.
This is clearest in the event of Emmaus and in His meeting with Mary Magdalen.   He summons us to go with Him.
Resurrection is not an indulgence of curiosity – it is MISSION.   It’s intention is to transform the world!   It calls for an active joy, the joy of those who are themselves going along the path of the Risen One.
That is true today too – He only shows Himself to those who walk with Him.   The angel’s first word to the women was “He is not here, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him” (Mk 16:6).   So once and for all, we are told where the Risen One is to be found and how we are to meet Him – HE GOES BEFORE YOU.   He is present in preceding us.
By following Him, we can see Him!

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

The Word of the Witnesses – Seek that Which is Abovehe-only-shows-himself-pope-benedict-joseph-ratzinger-easter-sat-4-april-2019-no-2-with-octave-note.jpg


Quote of the Day – 27 April – The crucifix is my autobiography.

Quote of the Day – 27 April – Saturday of Easter week

“The life of each and every one of us has been written.
The crucifix is my autobiography.
The blood is the ink.
The nails the pen.
The skin the parchment.
On every line of that body, I can trace my life.
In the crown of thorns I can read my pride.
In the hands that are dug with nails,
I can read avarice and greed.
In the flesh hanging from him like purple rags,
I can read my lust.
In feet that are fettered, I can find the times
that I ran away and would not let Him follow.
Any sin that you can think of is written there.”

Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen (1895-1979)the-life-of-each-and-every-one-of-us-ven-fulton-sheen-27-april-2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 27 April – Go Forth

One Minute Reflection – 27 April – Saturday of Easter week, Gospel: Mark 16:9–15

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation...Mark 16:15

REFLECTION – “Evangelisation takes place in obedience to the missionary mandate of Jesus: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19-20)…  The risen Christ sent His followers to preach the Gospel in every time and place, so that faith in Him might spread to every corner of the earth.

The word of God constantly shows us how God challenges those who believe in Him “to go forth”.   Abraham received the call to set out for a new land (Gen 12:1-3).   Moses heard God’s call:  “Go, I send you” (Ex 3:10) and led the people towards the promised land.   To Jeremiah God says:  “To all whom I send you, you shall go” (Jer 1:7)…   All of us are called to take part in this new missionary “going forth”.   Each Christian and every community must discern the path that the Lord points out but all of us are asked to obey His call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the “peripheries” in need of the light of the Gospel.

The Gospel joy which enlivens the community of disciples is a missionary joy.   The seventy-two disciples felt it as they returned from their mission (Lk 10:17).   Jesus felt it when He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit…   This joy is a sign that the Gospel has been proclaimed and is bearing fruit.   Yet the drive to go forth and give, to go out from ourselves, to keep pressing forward in our sowing of the good seed, remains ever present.   The Lord says:  “Let us go on to the next towns that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out” (Mk 1:38)…   In fidelity to the example of the Master, it is vitally important, for the Church today to go forth and preach the Gospel to all – to all places, on all occasions, without hesitation, reluctance or fear.”…Pope Francis – Apostolic Exhortation « The Joy of the Gospel / Evangelii Gaudium » §19-23mark 16 15 go into all the world - in fidelity to the master - pope francis evangeli gaudium 27 april 2019 ester sat.jpg

PRAYER – Lord our God, You increase and multiply Your faithful by Your abundant gift of grace.   Look now on Your chosen people and clothe forever in the garment of eternal life, all those who have been reborn in baptism.   Grant that the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, the saints and angels, may accompany us on our journey.   Through our Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.BLESSED VIRGIN MOTHER OF GOD PRAY FOR US.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 27 April – My Lady Mary

Our Morning Offering – 27 April – Saturday of Easter week – Marian Saturdays

My Lady Mary
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

Mother of my God
and my Lady Mary;
as a beggar,
all wounded and sore,
presents himself before a great Queen,
so do I present myself before you,
who are Queen of heaven and earth.
From the lofty throne on which you sit,
disdain not, I implore you,
to cast your eyes on me,
a poor sinner.
God has made you so rich
that you might assist the poor,
and has made you Queen of Mercy
in order that you might
relieve the miserable.
Behold me then and pity m,
behold me and abandon me not,
until you see me changed
from a sinner into a saint.
Amenmother of my god and my lady mary - st alphonsus - 19 may 2018


Saint of the Day – 27 April – Blessed Jakov Varingez OFM (c 1400–1496)

Saint of the Day – 27 April – Blessed Jakov Varingez OFM (c 1400–1496) aged 96, was a Croatian professed religious of the Order of Friars Minor, Apostle of charity, Mystic with a great devotion to the Cross of Christ, Marian devotee, he was noted as a miracle worker and levitated.   He assumed the name of “Giacomo of Bitetto” after his profession into that order.   Patronage – Bitetto.   He is honoured in the Franciscan Order on 20 April.   His body is incorrupt.

bl jakov varingez body.jpg
Blessed Jakov in the Church in Bitetto

Jakov Varingez was born in Zadar around 1400 to Leonardo and Beatrice.

In 1420 he entered the Order of Friars Minor as a brother assistant after having relocated to Bari, in the Kingdom of Naples, to flee Turkish invaders and joined the order in neighbouring Bitetto at Saint Peter’s jakob Varingez.jpg

In 1438 his superior requested him to participate in the General Chapter for the order, in Bari as his aide.   The friar decided to remain in Bari and lived in various monasteries until 1450 where he served as a cook, sacristan, gardener, porter and alms-beggar, before settling in Bitetto.

The friar remained in Bitetto until 1463 before moving to Bari where he remained until moving to Cassano delle Murge in 1469 at the Santa Maria degli Angeli convent.   He returned to Bitetto from 1480-1483 before moving to the Santa Maria dell’Isola convent in Conversano until 1485 when he moved for the final time back to Bitetto.

He had a deep devotion to the Passion and to the Blessed Mother and was known to have fallen into ecstasies.   He cared for patients infected with the plague during an epidemic in 1482 when he was already in his eighties.blessed-jakov-varingez.jpg

He died in Bitetto in 1496 and his remains were interred in a chapel built for him.  Public honour in his name is reported since 1505.   Pilgrims have continued to visit his Shrine and pray for his intercession and a miracle attributed to him is currently under investigation.

He was Beatified on 29 December 1700 after Pope Clement XI confirmed his cultus and was a decree of heroic virtues was proclaimed on 19 December 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI.   The cause for his Canonisation continues.


Memorial of Our Lady of Montserrat and of the Saints – 27 April

Our Lady of Montserrat:   (718) Our Lady is venerated under the invocation of the Virgin of Montserrat or “Rosa d’abril” – because of the Virolai hymn sung to her – at the Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery in the Montserrat mountain in Catalonia, Spain.
It is one of the black Madonnas of Europe, hence its familiar Catalan name, la Moreneta (“The little dark-skinned one”).
Believed by some to have been carved in Jerusalem in the early days of the Church. Legend has it that the Benedictine monks could not move the statue to construct their monastery, choosing to instead build around it.
On 11 September 1844, Pope Leo XIII declared the virgin of Montserrat patroness of Catalonia, Spain.

The full story of Our Lady of Montserrat:

St Adelelmus of Le Mans
St Asicus of Elphin
St Castor of Tarsus
St Enoder
St Floribert of Liege
Bl Hosanna of Cattaro
Bl Jakov Varingez OFM (c 1400–1496)
St John of Kathara
St Joseph Outhay Phongphumi
St Laurensô Nguyen Van Huong
St Liberalis of Treviso
St Maughold
Bl Nicolas Roland
St Noël Tenaud
Bl Peter Armengol
St Pollio of Cybalae
St Simeon of Jerusalem
St Stephen of Tarsus
St Tertullian of Bologna
St Theophilus of Brescia
St Winewald of Beverley
St Zita of Lucca (1212-1272)

Martyrs of Nicomedia: A group of Christians murdered together for their faith. In most cases all we have are their names – Dioscurus, Evanthia, Felicia, Felix, Germana, Germelina, Johannes, Julius, Laetissima, Nikeforus, Papias, Serapion and Victorinus. They died at Nicomedia, Bithynia, Asia Minor (modern Izmit, Turkey).


Thought for the Day – 26 April – The Anointing with the Holy Spirit

Thought for the Day – 26 April – Friday in the Octave of Easter

The Anointing with the Holy Spirit

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Bishop, Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Mystagogical Catechesis 3

When we were baptised into Christ and clothed ourselves in Him, we were transformed into the likeness of the Son of God.   Having destined us to be His adopted sons, God gave us a likeness to Christ in His glory and living as we do, in communion with Christ, God’s anointed, we ourselves are rightly called “the anointed ones.”   When He said: Do not touch my anointed ones, God was speaking of us.

We became “the anointed ones” when we received the sign of the Holy Spirit.   Indeed, everything took place in us by means of images, because we ourselves are images of Christ.   Christ bathed in the river Jordan, imparting to its waters the fragrance of His divinity and, when He came up from them, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, like resting upon like.   So we also, after coming up from the sacred waters of baptism, were anointed with chrism, which signifies the Holy Spirit, by whom Christ was anointed and of whom blessed Isaiah prophesied in the name of the Lord – The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me. He has sent me to preach good news to the poor.

Christ’s anointing was not by human hands, nor was it with ordinary oil.   On the contrary, having destined Him to be the Saviour of the whole world, the Father Himself anointed Him with the Holy Spirit.   The words of Peter bear witness to this – Jesus of Nazareth, whom God anointed with the Holy Spirit.   And David the prophet proclaimed: Your throne, O God, shall endure for ever; your royal sceptre is a sceptre of justice.   You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above all your fellows.

The oil of gladness with which Christ was anointed was a spiritual oil, it was in fact the Holy Spirit Himself, who is called the oil of gladness, because He is the source of spiritual joy.   But we too have been anointed with oil and by this anointing, we have entered into fellowship with Christ and have received a share in His life.   Beware of thinking that this holy oil is simply ordinary oil and nothing else.   After the invocation of the Spirit it is no longer ordinary oil but the gift of Christ and by the presence of His divinity, it becomes the instrument, through which we receive the Holy Spirit.   While symbolically, on our foreheads and senses, our bodies are anointed with this oil that we see, our souls are sanctified by the holy and life-giving Spirit.beware of thinking that this holy oil - st cyril of jerusalem 26 april 2019 easter friday - anointingwiththeholyspirit.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 26 April – “… only the Cross of Christ”

Quote/s of the Day – 26 April – Friday of Easter week and the Memorial of St Rafael Arnáiz Barón OCSO (1911-1938)

“…only the Cross of Christ
sheds light on the path of this life….
God is in the detached heart,
in the silence of prayer,
in the voluntary sacrifice to pain,
in the emptiness of the world and its creatures.
God is in the Cross and,
as long as we do not love the Cross,
we will not see Him, or feel Him….
If the world and men knew….
But they will not know,
they are very busy in their interests,
their hearts are very full of things
that are not God.”only in the cross of christ - st rafael arnaiz baron 26 april 2019 easter friday.jpg

“How good God is, I thought!
There is peace everywhere
except in the human heart.
…God is so good to me that,
in the silence,
He speaks to my heart
and teaches me,
little by little,
sometimes in tears,
always with the cross,
to detach myself from creatures,
not to look for perfection
except in Him …”

St Rafael Arnáiz Barón (1911-1938)how good god is - st rafael arnaiz baron redone 26 april 2019.jpg

The message of the cross
is foolishness to those
who are perishing
but to us,
who are being saved,
it is the power
of God…

1 Corinthians 1:18

More Quotes of St Rafael – message of the cross is foolishness - 26 april 2018.jpg

Posted in EASTER, MORNING Prayers, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 April – Jesus stood on the beach

One Minute Reflection – 26 April – Friday of Easter week, Gospel: John 21:1–14 and the Memorial of Our Lady of Good Counsel

Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach, yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus...John 21:4

REFLECTION – “Today’s Gospel, tells us much but let us look at two things:
1. there is no guarantee that, just because a persons has ‘seen’ and ‘heard’ Jesus, he/she will obey His commands or continue His mission.   It is possible that, even after such an experience, one will continue in the old ways; and 2. any mission that is undertaken without the help of the Lord, will rarely meet with success as is evident in the disciples’ failure to catch anything, even after all their strenuous efforts.
Sometimes, it is the words of a stranger that result in the transformation of a situation. To hear these words, it is important to be as open and receptive as the disciples were, though they did not know who that stranger was.   If the disciples, instead of listening to what the stranger was saying, had acted arrogantly and with pride, they would never have made the miraculous catch and may never have encountered Jesus.”…Fr Errol Fernandes SJjust as day was breaking jesus stood john 21 4 - sometimes - gods word 26 april 2019 easter friday.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, You offer the covenant of reconciliation to mankind in the mystery of Easter.   Cleanse our hearts by Your truth and guide our lives by Your holiness, may we do what is right and pleasing to You.   Grant that what we celebrate in worship, we may carry out in our lives.   May our Holy Mother of Good Counsel, ever keep us in her prayers and care.   Through Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour to You, forever, amenour-lady-of-good-counsel-pray-for-us 26 april 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST the KING, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 26 April – You are the King of All

Our Morning Offering – 26 April – Friday of Easter week

You are the King of All
St Albert the Great (1200-1280) Universal Doctor

We pray to You, O Lord,
who are the supreme Truth,
and all truth is from You.
We beseech You, O Lord,
who are the highest Wisdom,
and all the wise depend on You
for their wisdom.
You are the supreme Joy,
and all who are happy owe it to You.
You are the Light of minds,
and all receive their understanding from You.
We love, we love You above all.
We seek You, we follow You,
and we are ready to serve You.
We desire to dwell under Your power
for You are the King of all.
Amenyou are the king of all - st albert the great - 26 april 2019 easter friday.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Saint of the Day – 26 April – Saint Paschasius Radbertus (785–865)

Saint of the Day – 26 April – Saint Paschasius Radbertus (785–865) Monk, Abbot, Theologian – born 785 at Soissons, France and died in 865 of natural causes.   St Paschasius was a Carolingian theologian and the abbot of Corbie, a monastery in Picardy founded in 657 or 660 by the queen regent Bathilde with a founding community of monks from Luxeuil Abbey.   His most well-known and influential work is an exposition on the nature of the Eucharist written around 831, entitled De Corpore et Sanguine Domini.snip st paschasius radbertus.JPG

Paschasius was an orphan left on the steps of the convent of Notre-Dame de Soissons.   He was raised by the nuns there and became very fond of the abbess, Theodrara. Theodrara was sister of St Adalard of Corbie (C 751-827) and St Wala of Corbie (c 755–836), two monks (and both abbots prior to Paschasius) whom he admired greatly.   At a fairly young age, Paschasius left the convent to serve as a monk under Abbot Adalard, at Corbie.

Through the abbotship of both Adalard and Wala, Paschasius focused on the monastic life, spending his time studying and teaching.   When Adalard died in 826, Paschasius helped ensure Wala would become Abbot in his place.   Wala’s death in 836 brought yet another abbot to Corbie, Ratramnus, who held opposing views to Paschasius on a number of ecclesiastical issues.   Ratramnus wrote a refutation of Paschasius’ treatise on the Eucharist, De Corpore et Sanguine Domini, using the same paschasius radvertus of corbie

By 844, Paschasius himself became abbot, however he resigned his title ten years later to return to his studies  . He left Corbie for the nearby monastery of St Riquier, where he lived in voluntary exile for some years.   Why he resigned is unknown, however, it is likely that his actions were motivated by factional disputes within his monastic community, misunderstandings between himself and the younger monks were likely factors in his decision.   He returned to Corbie late in life and resided in his old monastery until his death in 865.

St Paschasius’ body was first buried at the Church of St John in Corbie.   After numerous reported miracles, the Pope ordered his remains to be removed and interred in the Church of St Peter, Corbie.   He was Canonised in 1073 by Pope Gregory VII.

St Peter’s Corbie

St Paschasius has an extensive collection of works, including the “Vitae” or Lives of St Adalbert and St Wala and many exegeses on various books of the Bible.  He wrote commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew, Lamentations, a commentary on Revelations and an exposition of Psalm 45, which he dedicated to the nuns at St Mary at Soissons. De Partu Virginis, written for his friend Emma, Abbess of St Mary at Soissons and daughter of Theodrara, describes the lifestyle of nuns.  26_ St_ Paschasius Radbertus, AbbotHe also wrote a treatise, titled De Nativitae Sanctae Mariae, regarding the nature of the Virgin Mary and the birth of Jesus Christ.  Paschasius probably wrote much more but none of it has survived through the centuries.

The most well-known and influential work of St Paschasius, ‘De Corpore et Sanguine Domini’ The Body and Blood of Christ (written between 831 and 833), is an exposition on the nature of the Eucharist.   It was originally written as an instructional manual for the monks under his care at Corbie and is the first lengthy treatise on the Sacrament of the Eucharist in the Western world.   In it, Paschasius agrees with St Ambrose (340-397) in affirming that the Eucharist contains the true, historical body of Jesus Christ.

According to Paschasius, God is truth itself and, therefore, His words and actions must be true.   Christ’s proclamation at the Last Supper that the bread and wine were His body and blood must be taken literally, since God is truth.   He believes that the transubstantiation of the bread and wine to be used at the Eucharist occurs literally.  Only if the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Christ can a Christian know it is salvific.

Paschasius believed that the presence of the historical blood and body of Christ allows the partaker a real union with Jesus in a direct, personal and physical union by joining a person’s flesh with Christ’s and Christ’s flesh with his.   To Paschasius, the Eucharist’s transformation into the flesh and blood of Christ is possible because of the principle that God is truth, God is able to manipulate nature, as He created it.

The book was given to Charles the Bald, the Frankish king, as a present in 844, with the inclusion of a special introduction.   The view Paschasius expressed in this work was met with some hostility.   Ratramnus, who preceded Paschasius as Abbot of Corbie, wrote a rebuttal by the same name, by order of Charles the Bald, who did not agree with some of the views Paschasius held.   Ratramnus believed that the Eucharist was strictly metaphorical, he focused more on the relationship between faith and the newly emerging science, while Paschasius believed in the miraculous.

Shortly thereafter, a third monk joined the debate, St Rabanus Maurus (c 780–856), which initiated the Carolingian Eucharist Controversy.   Ultimately, however, the king accepted Paschasius’ assertion and the physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist, which had already been believed for centuries, was cemented by St Paschasius book and cleared the way for a precise understanding of paschasius radbertus